Bill Nichols’ Prescription:
Comics 10ccs Kelley Jones
What inspires you to create and keeps you going?
Joy. The simple joy of making something out of nothing. I have never gotten over the thrill of that challenge.I love how much fun it is to draw. It’s never boring for me.
Do you have a set routine?
I get up early and after coffee with my wife at a nearby cafe,I start working around 8 in the morning and work straight thru till 5 that evening.I don’t wander around or such, just work. I don’t draw anywhere but in my little studio.I don’t go into my studio to do anything but draw. This routine makes me always ready to draw every day, and because I draw only in my studio I don’t burn out. A solid routine allows me to produce a lot of art and enjoy myself while doing it.
I read the script a couple of times before I draw it, and read the pages I’m to do the night before so that most of the drawing I do in my head before pencil hits the paper.
What kind of output do you try to achieve?
I get a page and a half to two a day. I learned to do this when I drew Batman monthly in the 90s.I don’t feel good if I don’t hit that target. Comics are a thin line between fine art and commercial art, and if you cant draw a book in three or four weeks it’s not really comics.
What inspires you WHEN you create? Music? Noise? Silence?
I always have music or a movie on or both at the same time. I use them as timing devices, when they are through I want to be at a certain part of a page. I know it sounds distracting but it’s not.
Who was the first comic book creator that influenced you to pursue this?
I would say Kirby and Ditko made me love comics, Wrightson made me want to do comics.
When did you realize you could follow this path yourself?
I loved drawing comics when I was a kid, but it was a hobby. It was when Marshall Rogers saw my stuff and he told me that he was sure I had the ability to do it professionally that I thought I could in fact take a stab at it.
What do you find to be a challenge in creating?
Drawing things that aren’t easy, things that fall outside my comfort zone. I like it when I do stuff outside my wheelhouse and it comes out good. I always want a writer to just write. Trying not to repeat myself or do the same imagery. I want to see myself do new things in my stuff, and that sometimes means a hard day, but it’s worth it.
What else do you have to learn?
I find that there is a lot of things I want to keep learning, and that is not just in the approach to a story, but the technical side as well, tools and such. Lately, I’ve been using simpler tools so I can be more direct in my stuff.
I have been also trying some collage and panel arranging that can make a sequence more interesting.
What keeps you motivated to get better?
Fear of people saying they liked my early work!
Can you turn your brain (creativity) off (and on)?
Yes, and that’s from keeping to a routine.
Creativity is from desire and effort, not dreaming and such, but hard work.
What advice do you have for aspiring creators?
Do this for your own pleasure. Do things to surprise yourself. Do things that you are afraid to do. Do this with joy.
Do you ever worry about running out of ideas?
How do you handle the slow times?
I’ve never really had a slow period, because I’m probably different is why.
How do you feel about the industry?
I think the industry just needs to realize its by its nature eccentric, and unique from every other form of entertainment. It doesn’t need to be like movies or TV, it needs to be itself. That’s what’s inspiring those mediums to be like us.
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Author, Artist, Editor for ShoutFyre.com
Bill is the creator of Arteest & Ursula comics, writer for Ringtail Cafe, co-creator of Savage Family, writer and inker of HellGirl: Demonseed. Editor for ShoutFyre and Sketch Magazine. Co-author of Camelot Forever novel series.